Happy New year to you all and welcome to 2021 !
OK, so it’s not quite how we thought it would start, although to be honest, most people had an inclination this is what we would see in January. At least a Brexit deal arrived!
We said something would happen at the 11th hour and by jove it did. This really is excellent news compared to the alternative option and hopefully, most of the country can continue to get on with things with one less thing to be concerned about.
We may be in Lockdown 3, but the good news is that the Government has confirmed the property market is still open as normal, with people being allowed to buy, sell, rent and view properties subject to the appropriate protections. This includes valuers and removals too.
We are incredibly lucky that we work in an industry that can continue and given the activity even in the last week that has been reported, this quarter looks like it will still be a busy one. Another couple of months stuck at home will galvanise more people into moving and looking for extra space.
Whether or not they extend the stamp duty deadline now is back on the cards and the Chancellor has announced more help for businesses on the front end in the form of new grants for those closed. Given how long this cycle looks like it will last there will probably be more assistance to come too.
There is a significant pipeline of property transactions to get through that have been built up over the past few months and everyone is focusing on getting this all through to completion as quickly and smoothly as possible.
There will be delays and bottlenecks and we could well see some lenders struggle with more staffing issues and with some more criteria changes, but I think choice in the market will continue to get a little bit better slowly but surely.
Yet another lender has returned to the 90% Loan-to-Value market again and despite everything, lenders will be keen to get off to a good start.
If there is no stamp extension, then March will be especially fraught for many, and with many conveyancers struggling already, especially in getting local searches out of Local Authorities, some buyers may well be cutting it very fine to complete before 31st March.
Unlike the first Lockdown, this time is that there is some definite light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines and I sincerely hope we will all be able to see each other again sometime in March. The party will now just have to be even bigger!
In the meantime, there is no reason why we can’t continue the good business levels of the last few months and make 2021 a great year.
In terms of mortgage rates, for standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.18%, (3.00% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.35%, (3.30% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.57%, (3.10% APRC).
Those looking at Buy-To-Let can now obtain products from 1.19%, (4.40% APRC) for 2-year fixed or 5-year fixes are available from 1.64% (3.80% APRC).